Monday, March 27, 2006

Terrorism: the New Weapon Against Democracy in Ethiopia

By Fikru Helebo

Tsegaye Tadesse of Reuters "reports" on the latest of a series of "mysterious" explosions that have rocked the city of Addis Ababa. It seems to me that some one in Ethiopia is bent on using terror tactics to instill fear among Addis residents to further it goals.

Although no one should be naive enough to discount that these bombings could be the works of a desperate foreign government or a frustrated domestic group, my instinct tells me that these series of bombings have Meles written all over them. Having come under heavy international pressure to resolve the political impasse that is his own making since November 2005, Meles has every reason to portray the opposition as "terrorists" who are bent on creating chaos and instability in the country. For a person who has shown no hesitation whatsoever to give orders to shoot to kill defenseless pro-democracy protesters, to design and execute terrorist incidents like the recent bombings in an attempt to discredit the opposition camp in the eyes of Western donor nations and plant seeds of doubt among some Ethiopians does not require stretching one's imagination.

Ethiopians at home should be on high alert as they go about their daily business and try to do their part to catch and expose this latest Meles scheme for what it is: an abominable terroristic act. I urge them to arm themselves with cameras and practice citizen journalism. If practiced wisely and in a well coordinated manner, I am sure citizen journalism can play a constructive role in hastening the downfall of this terrorist regime. Is is very sad that the very government that is supposed to protect Ethiopians is now, in all likelihood, engaged in terroristic acts to prolong its stay in power.

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